Wednesday 16 April 2008

No new hospital

I don't wanna rain on the party, but there's no new hospital being built in Cairns, despite this morning's Cairns Post banner headlines.

I applaud any community mobilisation for change. However, I detest the manipulation of children for political purposes in the case of the fake and forced letters that school children presented to the Premier about the Trinity State High School yesterday. "I told my parents to vote for you," said one of the letters. Oprah couldn't have orchestrated a better show, if she tried.

Meanwhile, back on the Esplanade and the hospital..

  • From: Alexander, Mark
    Sent: Tuesday, 15 April 2008 10:59 AM
    To: CNS-DL-All Staff
    Subject: Breaking News


    Cairns is getting a NEW hospital.

    The Premier announced this morning that the State will sell Cairns airport to fund an expansion of the existing site in the short term and the building of a new hospital on the southside in the longer term.

    Can I thank all of you for your support for the hospital campaign we have been running during the past few months. Without the support of the newspaper and the entire community, I doubt we would have achieved such a fantastic result.
    Well done.

    See full story on

    Editor The Cairns Post
    22-24 Abbott Street CAIRNS QLD 4870
    P: (07) 4052 6641 F: (07) 4052 6630

"With the funds of this major sale, we will expand and redevelop the Cairns Base Hospital, buy a site for a future Cairns hospital, build a new Mackay Base Hospital on its current site and redevelop Mount Isa Hospital," Premier Bligh said.

In fact, it would be at the very earliest "10 to 15 years away" for any new hospital, if at all.

So what Anna Bligh actually said was to redevelop …… again …… on the current site and buy land for new hospital. This is likely to be a very long time away, given the time frame for redevelopment of the current site itself.

The Cairns Post does it again with its premature claim to success.

So, unfortunately there's no new hospital at this stage.

Nor is there any funding for it.


Anonymous said...

Why do we need to "buy" land for the hospital?? There is heaps of State Government owned land around Cairns, especially in State Forests. Why doesn't the Government release a couple of hectares of say the Goldsborough Valley National Park? Why the HELL do they want us, the taxpayer to pay for this land when we have so much sitting there????? How bloody pathetic. Now, there will be decades of delay and quibbling because there "isn't any suitable land to BUY".

Anonymous said...

Only two weeks ago, I heard Stephen Robertson, Minister for Health, say that no decision about the hospital was to be made in the short term and that a Clinical Services Report for the Cairns District was about to be released. However, it would not be until after extensive public consultation of the results of this plan and then a new MASTER plan with all possible options would be developed. We have been hearing about this MASTER plan for weeks (ie to build a new hospital on a new site or rebuild on the existing site and with what new services). So low and behold yesterday, we get the Premier's release about the re-build on the existing site and the fact that our airport has to be sold off to pay for it. Up until this point the Clinical Services plan had not been released. So what happened to the MASTER plan? Even the Port Authority were taken by surprise at this annoucement as it had not even been discussed with them. Within hours of the Premier's medial statement, the Clinical Services Plan was suddenly released.

It makes me especially angry to think that only 10 years, Cairns had the opportunity to move that hospital away from the flight path and sea inundation area and they chose not to. Instead, the State Govt. spent millions and millions doing a refurbishment and building a new car park. Now, all that has to be redone. One thing that these politicians don't seem to think about was that during the whole time of the previous refurbishment which took several years from beginning to end, it was absolutely hell for the patients with jack hammers going all day and disruptions such as beds and patients having to be moved every time a ward was closed for work etc. It was hell for staff who were doing the best they could under difficult circumstances in reduced space and noisy, dusty environments, whilst their new wards were being built, and now the State Govt have announced that staff and patients have to go through all that again!

Commonsense must prevail. A new hospital on a new site, have it fully operational and then just move the patients from A-B. This way you solve the flight path and sea inundation risks into the bargain.

Has anyone shown any commonsense in this debate. Not yet they haven't.

Anonymous said...

hospitalwatcher, you're damned right. I had cancer in 2001 and had to attend the Cancer Unit there at the Base Hospital...well, it looked like a bloody place rats crawled away to to die...and all around was the roaring sound of jack hammering which reverberated inside ones stomach and internal organs. It was not a suitable environment for sick people, that is all I can say.

Anonymous said...

This is the most ridiculous decision imaginable, and is likely been driven by Macquarie and the other "infrastructure funds" looking to make a quick buck in a bad credit market. Look at how the Labor MP's are attacking CofC President Blockey in today's paper - he clearly can see the folly in privatising the airport without strict safeguards for our tourism industry.

The current hospital is already grossly inefficient being separated into several "blocks" with now the addition of another "block" to increase the inefficiency. We can't attract enough staff and specialists now, as few want to work in such a bloated operation.

This is not to mention the flood risk with global warming, and the folly of having a hospital on the foreshore in a cyclone!

Now we find they want to put a crappy giant parking structure on foreshore land.

Australian politics is dominated by small-thinkers and charlatans. Like the Cairns Post.